Once Christmas is past, I can’t wait to clear the decks and halls of all things holly and jolly. The new year awaits, and I am always champing at the bit with big, creative plans. Or at the very least, organizing and improving every aspect of my life.
When I was a teenager, I took my Christmas envelope filled with gift cash (bestowed from a family of modest means and big love—$10 from Nana and Pappaw, $5 from Great Aunt Peg, etc.) and hotfooted it to Pomeroy’s department store. There I ascended the escalator to the sewing department, settled onto a stool, and paged through Butterick pattern books that were starting to reflect the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. I took my time, wandering through the bolts of fabric, brushing my palms over wide wale corduroy and panne velvet, my eyes dizzily following psychedelic swirls. I loved synchronizing my creative vision to what was offered in that small city store. Could my end result rival what I coveted in my Seventeen magazine?
In 1969, it was a maxi coat with matching trousers, in a maroon herringbone wool. I remember this outfit distinctly because it involved more yardage than I had ever negotiated before, as well as a lining. But mostly because, upon completion, I realized that the lapels did not match.
Unintentional asymmetry was definitely not the look I was going for, and while I did wear my ensemble a few times, I was always too aware of my glaring mistake to enjoy any compliments I received. (I also tried to cover it with a scarf).
All these years later, there are many projects I am eager to start—and finish. I am at a point in my life where I trot out the “bucket list” label, only half-kidding. My only new year’s resolution is to engage in my passions and projects with the mindful zeal I once had. Ironically, now that there is less time for making mistakes, I realize that maybe there are no mistakes. Only efforts.
I still relish the fresh, open window of the new year. So, I will stick my head through it, and breath. Deep.